Sunday, 2 October 2011

Commemorations in Varivode and Gošići, marking the 16th anniversary of the murder of Serb civilians following 'Oluja'

See the original article on eBritić.com in English and in Serbian
Yesterday, representatives of Croatia's ethnic Serb minority came to the Dalmatian villages of Varivode and Gošići to show their respect to the mainly elderly Serb victims, murdered by Croatian forces after 'Operation Storm' (Operacija Oluja). Nine Serb civilians of advanced years in Varivode lost their lives on 28th September 1995, while seven Serbs were killed in the village of Gošići on 27th August 1995. Like other unfortunate elderly people in nearby villages and elsewhere in the former Republika Srpska Krajina, they chose to stay behind in their homes during Oluja, instead of joining their relatives in the refugee columns fleeing Krajina, believing they would be spared on account of their age.

Slobodаn Uzelаc, ethnic Serb vice prime minister for regional development, reconstruction and return, said, “The names of those who were killing Serb civillians are not known, but their profiles are known and who they are.”

“They usually say, and incorrectly so, that Croatian Defenders (hrvatski branitelji) did this. Those people did not defend Croatia, instead they disgraced it, [by] committing a crime for political and personal reasons!”, asserted Uzelac.

Milorad Pupovac, leader of the largest Serb minority party serving the interests of that ethnic group in Croatia and president of the Serb national assembly (Srpsko narodno vijeće) in that country, explained that, “those guilty have neither been apprehended nor punished, because there was no desire for it. Nevertheless, there was time and a desire to focus on those who weren't guilty [of anything], only so they can hinder them from returning to their homes!”

“They were killed only a month and a half after Oluja”, Pupovac said in Varivode. “But 16 years later, those guilty are still not apprehended or punished, just like [nobody has been apprehended or punished] for the murders in Gošići, Mokropolje, Biskupija i Golubić (near Knin).”

He also highlighted that, “Remembrance of the victims of the war cannot be prevented, nor can anyone deny [someone else] the right to commemorate.”

Read more in Serbian/Croatian:
  • Nacional.hr — Anonimnost i sloboda zločincima na dar
  • Blic.rs — Komemoracija pobijenim Srbima u Varivodama i Gošićima


  • Memorial to Serb victims in Varivode

    3 comments:

    Owen said...

    I remember that Helsinki Committee were collecting information as these people were being killed. It certainly is a disgrace to Croatia that the murders have not resulted in adequate charges and convictions. If the direct perpetrators are not held to account, then those like Gotovina who were in command and control must accept responsibility.

    At the same time I hope Pupovac is not being disingenuous in his comments about Golubić when as I understand the memorial there blurs the distinction between civilian murder victims and RSK forces.

    Owen said...

    Please correct me if I've got the detailed information about the Golubic memorial worng.

    Alan Jakšić said...

    Yeah, some local association of Croatian veterans was raising questions about some of the dead listed on that monument in Golubić (near Knin), suggesting that some were "aggressors", which I find odd, 'cause I thought they made a distinction between "rebels", i.e. local Krajina Serb rebels, and "aggressors", i.e. JNA in Vukovar '91, for instance. Perhaps it's all the same to them? :-\

    Here is a translation of a paragraph from this news report:

    Internal affairs minister (i.e. Home secretary) Tomislav Karamarko has banned a comemmorative gathering and unveiling of a monument to Serb victims in Golubić scheduled for tomorrow (i.e. this past Sunday). Karamarko assessed that holding the gathering would unsettle citizens and disturb public order and peace. Apart from that, state inspectors from the ministry of environmental protection established that the monument was erected without permission. Against the erection of the monument were the defenders of Knin, because, as they claim, names of aggressors against the Republic of Croatia are also on it.